Loyal Blue Not So Loyal

Facebook has an interesting feature as it pertains to groups nowadays. It seems you can create a group on almost any topic, then go around and add people to it. And, if those people like it, they can add other people as well. The best thing about it is that anything said in these groups can be closed if the moderators want to keep it “safe” for the participants to express themselves freely, and thus it won’t show on your page, or they can open it up and, like Facebook business pages, what’s said will show up in your stream, which opens up the possibility of other people seeing it and joining in.

by Steve Jurvetson

I was added to one of these groups, one called Loyal Blue. It was a group for people whose political stance is liberal. I’m fairly liberal for most things, but certainly can’t be called a bleeding heart. I won’t get into too many details because this isn’t a post about politics; at least not directly.

Initially it seemed like it was going to be a fairly safe group to talk about some issues amongst ourselves and only talk to other people who believed as I do. Some might think that discourse ends when everyone agrees on everything, but I tend to believe that everything starts with people agreeing with each other, and then shades of disagreement help to flesh things out.

And things were going along well until there was an interesting post related to a blog post someone wrote on race and politics and this year’s elections. It was a pretty good post, linking to an article on another blog, as I went to read it, and I left a fairly innocuous comment and moved on with life. What happens is you get notified whenever someone comments on a post you’ve commented on, so eventually I went back to that post, only to see that what I’d written wasn’t there any longer. I thought that was strange, so I rewrote the post, thinking that maybe I hadn’t left it at all. Later on, I wrote a different comment on the same post, and left once more. Then when I went back I not only saw that my post was gone, but someone else had obviously written something and had their post deleted at least once, and they mentioned it and said they were out of there. At this point I got it and decided to leave as well.

The initial point I have to make here is that it’s ridiculous for any group to just delete comments they don’t like that have to do with a topic. For instance, every comment I saw,including mine, was on point with the original post. The creator of the group had left something saying he believed any conversation that touched upon race should be somewhere else. This person is black; did this person forget that the president of the United States happens to be black as well? If ever there was a time for this country to come to grips in talking about race, it’s now.

The second point I have to make is that no one gets to decide that race needs to be discussed in only one place and not everywhere else. I haven’t discussed race all that often on this blog but I easily could. In America, race permeates almost every major decision that’s made in this country; trust me on this one. I could point it out almost everywhere. But I don’t because, well, this blog would take on a decidedly different tone and that’s not what I want to achieve here. But I’ll certainly point it out when I need to, such as during the presidential election when I showed this video from Ohio; shameful stuff.

Finally, my third point is that if you’re going to censor stuff, you should make sure what’s being censored deserves it. The only thing I would censor on this site is bad language, which I’ve never had to do, and posts that I know aren’t related to the topic and are meant to inflame. Anything else, you can disagree with me and I’ll leave it here for the world to see. That and, if it seems like it needs one, I’ll write a post about it and see where that goes as well. That’s what this post is about; they can censor me on their Facebook group, but they can’t censor me on my own blog.

Nope, Loyal Blue wasn’t so loyal to the people who contributed to it, and that’s a shame. That’s not what social media is supposed to be about. Luckily, there’s another outlet, and I know the person and she has promised to never delete any comments unless they’re personal attacks. That’s good enough for me; now there’s loyalty.

And it made me write two posts in one day; way to go!

The Loudest Duck
by Laura A. Liswood

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

25 thoughts on “Loyal Blue Not So Loyal”

  1. Some people just don’t understand or don’t even dare care to understand other peoples thoughts. Some people dont take ideas opposite of theirs. Well it is much better to have a debate if you have conflicting ideas and when I say debate I mean a friendly debate. Who knows each of you might get something out of the other.

  2. That is the beauty of having your own blog, it’s a forum for you to speak your mind and share your opinions. I believe I am in the “Butter on Pop Tart” group on Facebook and I’m ashamed I don’t participate more:) I rarely get on Facebook and when I do it’s almost like going through email that has no spam filter. I have been having people tag me in videos and pictures that I am not even in and when others comment or like it, I am notified. I see Facebook slowly turning into the spammy cesspool that MySpace has now become.

    I believe once have I ever commented on someone’s blog and I go back to see it wasn’t posted because that particular person who knew me, didn’t want me being associated with his blog(long story). Even though I was showing support and being nothing but positive sometimes the person leaving the comment matters more than the actual comment. But other than that, it hasn’t happened. I am not deep into politics, I do consider my self liberal with some conservative views and because I don’t know that much about it I pretty much steer clear of it. It seems your Loyal Blue aren’t so liberal with those who comment.

    1. Thanks for writing Karen; nope, they’re not very liberal at all. As for your friend, I’m sure you were supporting and your language was fine. I don’t understand those people who exclude for any other reason. For instance, if you look at my friends, though you wouldn’t know which one, one of them is a former professional escort and porn star who wrote a book that I bought from her and got signed. Some people would find out what she was and not who she is and ban her; not me. I don’t know what this guy had against you, but I’d never ban anything you had to say from my page.

    1. Thanks Barb. This guy didn’t ban anyone; he just deleted our comments, which is almost worse. Almost, that is,and on a topic that even his post he agreed it was important. Weird.

  3. Mitch, Facebook is becoming like Myspace long time ago. There are many internet marketers that are spamming like crazy. Most of the groups are just for people that try to make money somehow. It is an easy and quick way unfortunate.

  4. Mitch, I think the group creator was just avoiding an issue that is unavoidable when you discuss politics. He mishandled it. And in the process, he lost the trust and loyalty of the members.

    1. He sure did Novz. The person who added me to the group had already left and took many others as well.

  5. Hi Mitch

    I so don’t get Facebook. So many bad reports and now I hear about all this palava! Much rather be on Twitter with my friends 🙂 Sad that you are not permitted to express your opinion. Oh well you found out what that group is really like; better to be out of it eh??!!

    Patricia Perth Australia

    1. True Pat. Still, it’s proof of two things. One, if you create it, you get to run it however you wish. Two, even if there’s a major basis for agreement, you might not agree on everything.

  6. Racism is as bad as other people make it. Actually there is no such things as a bad/good/super/supreme/best etc race, we are all humans, the only difference is that some have more pigment the others(melanin that is).
    Racism only exists because some people choose to make it real, meh I have more to say about this but I will leave it to this.

    Anyway, facebook groups and their leaders: Many people feel like the real world doesn’t give them the chance to sustain their opinions that’s why they want their opinions to be shared by other and don’t accept outlaws (or infidels like a Muslim might say).

    1. Good point, Alex. Folks have to realize that if you take a position not everyone will agree with you. That’s a part of blogging as well, and it’s one reason why I pick my times when I’m going to be controversial.

  7. People with strong, extreme, and narrowly-focused ideas tend to hang around with others who are just like them. Whether it’s a church, a political convention, or a public demonstration, there’s very little effort made to understand other points of view. Do that over and over for a few generations and you end up with people like the ones in the video. And because they don’t know how to consider new ideas, they’re terrified of them. It’s easier, safer, and more comfortable to stay hidden and insulated — close the doors, close the windows, and definitely close the minds. I feel sorry for people like that. Life is about change and they’ve never learned how to deal with it.

    1. Charles, that video is what totally swayed me to vote for Obama; not that I wasn’t going to anyway, but it wasn’t as enthusiastic as it was after I saw that video.

  8. In your post, you say “…no one gets to decide that race needs to be discussed in only one place and not everywhere else.”

    I respectfully beg to differ. In the context of your post, I’ll have to say that the person who created the group of which you speak has every privilege (I’m avoiding saying right on purpose) to decide that race can’t be discussed on his/her creation. That’s what moderation allows for, even if it’s poor moderation on the part of the moderator.

    I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just saying he/she is able.

    1. That’s an interesting point, Faydra. If someone creates something, I guess it does implicitly give them the right to keep whatever they want in or out of their group. It’s a poor way to run something, though. Maybe I should have added “if I’m going to be a part of it”.

  9. Seems to me the comments should have been left alone so that people could discuss them in a civil manner. The least that person could have done was let well enough alone to see what transpired. As it is they’ve now lost members and could lose more along the way.

    1. Exactly Sire. There wasn’t a nasty comment in the bunch, nad it seemed like it was ready to be a good discussion until that occurred. Talk about killing momentum.

      1. It’s like these politically correct do gooders who continually stick their nose in telling people what to do when those concerned actually couldn’t care less. Man, those guys really piss me off.

      2. Well, I’m fairly politically correct myself, but I definitely live and let live unless it involves a friend of mine. Otherwise, people are on their own.

      3. Sure but you can take things too far, like we have certain schools who are no longer allowed to sing Christmas Carols because it may offend some non Christians.

        They even change the curriculum removing things like Ba Ba Black Sheep because some may find it racist.

      4. Well, I’ll agree that some of those things are over the edge, and I’m of the opinion that instead of limiting stuff like that they should just be inclusive of everyone and spread the love around.

  10. That’s so rude! I mean I really don’t understand other people who can’t respect the opinion of others. Each and everyone of us has his own thoughts and perspective and the best way to avoid conflict is respect. That doesn’t mean that if you don’t like someone Else’s comment you’ll just remove it right away, we’ll maybe unless if he’s using dirty words to hurt others but if he is entitled to his own opinion, we’ll then I guess it’s his point of view and you have to respect it.

    1. Great point, LADL, because unless there’s abuse in the message, all messages and opinions are valid in some fashion and shows the diversity of thought amongst people. And that’s never really a bad thing.

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